Shadow and Bone

by

Leigh Bardugo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Shadow and Bone can help.
Volcra are monsters that live in the Shadow Fold. They’re blind, with sharp teeth and claws and leathery wings, and they attack and eat anyone they can detect in the Fold. Alina learns that the volcra are the people who used to live in the fertile valleys that were decimated when the Black Heretic created the Shadow Fold in their place.

Volcra Quotes in Shadow and Bone

The Shadow and Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Volcra or refer to Volcra. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
).
Chapter 3 Quotes

The side of the Darkling’s mouth twitched, as if he were repressing a smile. His eyes slid over me from head to toe and back again. I felt like something strange and shiny, a curiosity that had washed up on a lake shore, that he might kick aside with his boot.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“The Fold was no mistake.” Baghra dropped her hands and the swirling darkness around her melted away. “The only mistake was the volcra. He did not anticipate them, did not think to wonder what power of that magnitude might do to mere men.”

My stomach turned. “The volcra were men?”

“Oh yes. Generations ago. Farmers and their wives, their children. I warned him that there would be a price, but he didn’t listen. He was blinded by his hunger for power. Just as he is blinded now.”

Related Characters: Baghra (speaker), Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

This is the truth of him, I thought as I squinted in the dazzling light. Like calls to like. This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:

They’re hungry for this, I realized. Even after they’ve seen what he can do, even after watching their own people die. The Darkling wasn’t just offering them an end to war, but an end to weakness. After all these long years of terror and suffering, he would give them something that had seemed permanently beyond their grasp: victory. And despite their fear, they loved him for it.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, The King
Page Number: 342
Explanation and Analysis:

I’d thought the stag was haunting me, a reminder of my failure and the price my weakness would exact. But I was wrong.

The stag had been showing me my strength—not just the price of mercy but the power it bestowed. And mercy was something the Darkling would never understand.

I had spared the stag’s life. The power of that life belonged to me as surely as it belonged to the man who had taken it.

Related Characters: Alina Starkov (speaker), The Darkling, Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Shadow and Bone LitChart as a printable PDF.
Shadow and Bone PDF

Volcra Term Timeline in Shadow and Bone

The timeline below shows where the term Volcra appears in Shadow and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
...can’t anymore, so she says nothing about how uneasy she is. He suggests that the volcra will go for Mikhael first, and Alina flashes on a childhood memory of flipping through... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...she looked miserable at dinner, and he’s worried about her. Alina offers that hopefully a volcra will eat her tomorrow so he can stop worrying, but Mal insists he’d be lost... (full context)
Chapter 2
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...can’t even see her own hand. Hopefully, their party passes through the Fold without the volcra noticing them—but Alexei grabs Alina’s wrist and hisses for her to listen. (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
...the signal, Grisha send flames into the air—and the flames illuminate hundreds of terrifying, shrieking volcra. Alexei and Alina cling to each other, but a volcra sinks its claws into Alexei’s... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...happened? Did she break military protocol somehow? She remembers nothing after the pain from the volcra’s claws, and then the light. (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
...at Alina and asks the captain what happened. The captain says, without expression, that the volcra attacked about 30 minutes into the trip. Things were going poorly, and then he saw... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
The Senior Cartographer steps up. Wringing his hands, he describes all the blood and seeing volcra carry Alexei off. When he says he saw the volcra go for Alina and Mal,... (full context)
Chapter 6
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...she’s in Keramzin, looking for Mal. When she opens a bedroom, there’s blood everywhere—and a volcra with the Darkling’s gray eyes. Alina wakes up and has almost fallen back to sleep... (full context)
Chapter 15
Desperation, Leadership, and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...He’ll be unstoppable with her. Baghra says the Fold itself wasn’t a mistake, but the volcra were: they used to be the people who lived in the fertile land the Fold... (full context)
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...now that he wouldn’t let Grisha fall out of power. Thinking of Alexei and the volcra, Alina asks Baghra what to do. (full context)
Chapter 21
Gender, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...says that Alina can go say goodbye to Mal. Tomorrow, he’ll feed Mal to the volcra in the Shadow Fold. Alina fights wildly, but the Darkling says she’ll be fighting for... (full context)
Chapter 22
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...into the Fold, the Darkling tells the Inferni to release fire; this will draw the volcra to the sandskiff. Alina hears them coming and, now that she knows the volcra were... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...instead sends darkness rippling along the path Alina made. It engulfs the village, and the volcra begin killing villagers. Alina tries desperately to expand the light or somehow make the Darkling... (full context)
Identity and Self-Knowledge Theme Icon
Greed vs. Mercy Theme Icon
...screams, but Mal just stands in the sand. He shrieks as the darkness and the volcra reach him. Suddenly, Alina is back in the glade with the stag, and she realizes... (full context)